Lawsuit: Chipotle Forces Employees to Work Without Pay
Nearly 10K current and former workers join class-action lawsuit
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2016 1:14 PM CDT
Nearly 10,000 current and former employees have joined a class-action lawsuit against Chipotle alleging wage theft.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(Newser) Chipotle continues to find a cockroach in its chicken burrito, metaphorically speaking. It lost its spot as America's top Mexican restaurant, illegally fired an employee over critical tweets, and saw one of its executives busted for allegedly buying cocaine. Not to mention various outbreaks of E. coli and norovirus. Now, nearly 10,000 current and former employees are suing the restaurant over alleged wage theft, CNN reports. "Chipotle routinely requires hourly-paid restaurant employees to punch out, and then continue working until they are given permission to leave," the class-action lawsuit states. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say they've found victims in nearly every state where Chipotle operates, though the restaurant denies any wrongdoing.

Leah Turner, a former manager at a Colorado Chipotle, started the lawsuit. She says she was told to work off the clock and have her employees do the same so the restaurant could make budget goals. She also had to go to meetings after work while off the clock, Eater reports. The alleged wage theft mostly happens at closing after workers are automatically clocked out, then told to stay to clean and prep. But at least one employee says she was told to clock out and keep working during busy days. According to CNBC, bad news has dropped sales at Chipotle by 30%. On Tuesday, the company announced it would be offering free drinks to students and free kids' meals to families in September to win back customers.